Matt Coss Jr (30) from Portlaoise was born deaf. He said that there is a deaf community in Laois of about 50 people, both young and old.
He said that in some other cinemas around Ireland there are designated times during the week where deaf people are facilitated by subtitled films.
He also said that the Odeon cinema in Newbridge uses an infra-red body pack system for the hard of hearing.
“It would be great if the Odeon in Portlaoise could provide at least one latest film release a month for adults and children who have hearing difficulties. It’s very expensive to have to drive a distance to Newbridge or to Dublin, when the facilities could be provided here in Laois. Some people don’t have access to transport. I have a large circle of friends who would attend these showings. There is a demand for this type of facilities for the deaf here in Laois,” wrote Mr Coss.
A spokesperson for the cinema said that it does, in fact, cater for hard- of-hearing and deaf people. She said that it provides a deaf aid loop, hard-of-hearing ear plugs and subtitles.
However, the spokesperson said that there is no reference to the facilities on the cinema’s website and it would now consider putting the information on it to bring it to the attention of the deaf community in Laois.
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